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MPR: Indian children far more likely to be removed from homes

Indian children in Minnesota. Photo from Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center

Indian and minority groups met with the Governor's Task Force for the Protection of Children on Thursday to express their concerns about the child protection system in Minnesota:
Minnesota's American Indian children are nearly 16 times more likely to be removed from their homes than white children. A panel of American Indian attorneys and child welfare advocates told the task force that there is a huge lack of services for Indian families.

Moreover, child protection frequently fails the children it removes, warned Patina Park, Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center.

"I will tell you completely bluntly and with no shame that the child protection system and foster care is the first level of grooming for our girls for traffickers," Park said. "It is placing them away from their community, away from their identity and the strength that comes from that cultural connection and their family and tribe and it's leaving them vulnerable, and they are getting used."

While some testimony suggested Minnesota's child protection system is overzealous, others maintain it's too unresponsive. Task force members have until March to wrap up their recommendations in time for legislative action this spring.

Get the Story:
Minority groups deeply dissatisfied with child protection services (Minnesota Public Radio 1/9)

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